Swifton water superintendent fired after explicit comments

Swifton water on July 28, 2022
Swifton water on July 28, 2022(KAIT)
Published: Jul. 29, 2022 at 10:46 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 2, 2022 at 7:21 PM CDT
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SWIFTON, Ark. (KAIT) - A former Swifton city employee is off the job after making explicit comments toward community members on social media.

According to Swifton Mayor Craig Crider and councilmember Rodney Gilmore, the city’s water superintendent, Ryan Holland, was fired on Monday, Aug, 1.

The firing came after citizens began to complain on social media, and the city’s water superintendent began to respond with profanity.

Holland responded to multiple people on social media.

One quote said, “I’m glad you got a five-dollar tester you know nothing about.” Another stated, “I’m not apologizing,” when someone questioned his response.

“It’s upsetting,” said resident Weston Gates.

After filling his bathtub, Gates was alerted by brown water to give his daughter a bath on the night of Thursday, July 28.

Gates deals with water daily, so he tested the water and posted the results on Facebook.

The response he received from the post he was not expecting.

“You have to treat residents of a city just like you would a customer and any kind of concern they bring forward to you is a genuine concern in their mind,” he said.

Gates said Holland’s actions were very unprofessional.

“As a city official or a city employee, we’ve got to have some calmer heads and open up a topic of discussion instead of an argument,” Gates said.

On Friday, July 29, Mayor Crider said he spoke with Holland previously and thought it wouldn’t happen again, but he did not want to comment further.

Gates said that type of behavior does not build trust in city officials.

Region 8 News contacted Holland and spoke to him on the phone the same night.

When asked if he had any comments on what he had said to the residents, he replied, “I made them”.

Holland would not comment on whether what he said was appropriate or not.

The city reminded residents on Facebook the discoloration of the water was caused by hydrant testing, adding it would be that way through the weekend.

Gates said he understands the issue this time with the water but added this has been an ongoing issue in Swifton.

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